Is that your reversed-stress face?

Since 1998, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has been designing posters for the Yale School of Architecture’s series of lectures and exhibitions. The school’s autumn 2014 schedule has just been announced via this fine example, designed using the typeface Maelstrom

Since 1998, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has been designing posters for the Yale School of Architecture’s series of lectures and exhibitions. The school’s autumn 2014 schedule has just been announced via this fine example, designed using the typeface Maelstrom…

Bierut and fellow Pentagram New York designer Jessica Svendsen decided to incorporate the Kris Sowersby-designed typeface into the new poster; its stacked letterforms adding an architectural quality to the design.

If the lettering appears, well, a little odd – it’s no doubt because it’s displayed in a ‘reversed stress’ face. What are usually thought of as the ‘thick’ strokes of the letters are rendered ‘thin’, and vice-versa.

According to the excellent post about the face on the Klim foundry’s blog, Maelstrom “belongs to a genre that seems destined to be perpetually a typographic outsider-never really fashionable yet never fully abandoned.” Its lineage includes fonts such as Caslon Italian and French Antique.

 

According to Pentagram, the designers “made some small modifications to the E and F to slightly improve legibility. The school’s circular Y emblem also appears in Maelstrom.”

Maelstrom is available from the Klim Type Foundry. More of Pentagram’s Yale posters at pentagram.com.

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